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Friday, April 15, 2011

Fear

I can't bear looking at my last post, I'm moving on (here anyway, you may notice I'm posting in the middle of the night. Insomnia feeds on sadness.)

So F is for fear, people have fears. All sorts. Fear of heights, fear of germs, fear of high ceilings (yes, it's a real fear.) Rational or irrational, people have fears. For instance, I am terrified of worms. Not snakes, not spiders, not rats--worms. Ridiculous, I know, and yet if I so much as even look at a picture of a worm I gag and feel a pressing (URGENT) need to escape.

No I do not care to psychoanalyze this--thank you.

But as ridiculous as they may be, characters should have fears too. In my book that is currently making the rounds my main character is terrified of the dark. Not an unusual fear for a child--but my MC is 16. Why is she still afraid of the dark?

Well I'm not going to say, I'm still praying that whole publishing thing is going to work out for me.

But, whether they are explicitly stated or otherwise inferred, I think a reader should be aware of what it is your character(s) are afraid of. It's a great way of revealing WANT (what it is your character is trying to accomplish) while exploring conflict on the psychological level. You know--you are your own worst enemy--and all that.

Anyway, that's all I've got right now. I'm going to try (again) to sleep.

3 comments:

  1. No worries - I'm an adult and still scared of the dark!

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  2. Yes, characters should all have fears. I have one afraid of dark, enclosing space, but there's a very valid reason for that. (She's twenty.) Sometimes the fears are very tangible things (rats, snakes, grizzly bears, lemons, etc.) and sometimes they are things that are like being afraid of failure or being afraid of being alone.

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  3. Hope you got some sleep. I'm afraid of sharks.

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