Stories Need a Little Surprise

20151030_151822On Friday, I wore my Halloween costume to work…check it out! I keep my costume a secret until dress-up day each year, much to the irritation of my coworkers who try to wheedle the truth out of me.

I do let my co-workers guess what I’ll be wearing and have told them that if they ever do get it right, I’ll tell them the truth. I’ve been dressing up for more than ten years and they have never gotten close to guessing the correct answer – until this year.

One of my co-workers asked me if I was going to be Thing 1 or Thing 2. He was so excited when I told him yes. And then 5 minutes later he wasn’t as excited anymore. He found the truth out last Monday and now he had to keep it a secret for five days.

Each day he would whine about wanting to tell SOMEONE the truth, and each day I would tell him NO.

And when he whined again for the third day in a row, I told him that he was now living in my world. If he thought keeping a secret for a few days was hard, he should try to write books. There is something so wonderful about writing a story that resonates with you. But at the same time it’s hard too, because you want to tell everyone about the scenes and surprises in your story. For me, writing is like unwrapping presents to see what is inside and then wrapping them back up again so that others can enjoy them as well.

I love surprises, I love the look on my co-workers faces the first time they see my costume and I love, love, love when my readers finish one of my books and talk about how much they liked this scene or that surprise. It allows me to enjoy the moment with them through their eyes.

And that’s what makes it fun in my part of the world!

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