books aren’t just what we do, they’re who we are

SEKRIT Project

The Web Monkey and I are deep in discussions on an exciting new SEKRIT project, which we’ll hopefully be able to reveal shortly! Anyway, it got me thinking…

I like SEKRITS — or even secrets — when I know them, but I’m not all that keen on other people keeping secrets from me. And I think I feel the same way about secrets in novels. I mean, I love a come-out-of-nowhere revelation sometimes, but I think they can straddle a fine line between realistic secret (I didn’t want to tell anyone I was pregnant!) and deus ex machina (and I’m giving birth to a magical creature that will save us all!). Then there’s the secrets we tell or keep in describing books. For instance, I was careful in my Recent Read review yesterday to keep a major plot point out of my review — even though it happens in the first chapter or so. But it’s only hinted at in the jacket copy, so I didn’t want to give it away.

Your query letter is a great place to keep secrets — to hint at what happens without telling everything, but when I get to the synopsis, I want to know everything.