I love finding good writing analogies from unexpected sources. Today, I was watching a Tavis Smiley interview with the actor, Jeremy Irons. He's promoting his new movie, "The Words" (which looks very interesting -- trailer here).
Tavis asked Mr. Irons about why he chooses characters who have secrets. And Mr. Irons says that, just as in real life while getting to know people, he enjoys the "process of discovery" of a character. He believes audiences should get to know a character little by little, not all at once. Characters should have secrets, he says.
Then he told about being fascinated with advent calendars as a child. Of the excitement of only being "allowed" to open one window per day, while the rest must remain closed. And he compared that excitement to acting, to developing a character. How characters need to have secrets that they only reveal a little at a time.
It reminded me of a Stephen King quote, that characters "shouldn't give up their secrets all at once."