Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blog Chain - What do I fear?

Okay, this is for the blog chain, though I am several days late. I was going to skip it altogether but as I'm feeling so much better and this round is still going, I thought I'd squeeze in :) Kat picked our topic this round. She wants to know:

What are the primary fears that drive your characters? Do they battle aliens or gangsters or monsters? Or do they battle unreconciled issues in their lives? Which do you prefer writing about? What do you fear?

Fears are funny, I think. When it comes right down to it, all fears are internal. You may have a very good reason to fear something, (see Cole's post if you haven't yet), but the fear you feel is based in your head.

I had a nightmare once, when I was in my mid teens. I was in my room and a blinding white light was shining through my window - like someone had focused a spotlight on it. There was a man standing in my room, but he was made of shadow - black and sort of hazy. No features, just a black outline though it was solid. And red eyes.

I've slept with a nightlight ever since. To this day.

I also fear spiders, ghosts, enclosed spaces, heights and losing my loved ones. All of those fears are totally irrational, justified but unfixable, or unavoidable. I'm huge compared to a spider. I step on it and it dies. But I'll run if one is big enough. I generally stay out of my basement at night and never EVER watch or read ghost stories...esp at night (not even Ghostbusters). I avoid enclosed spaces and heights if at all possible and go to my happy place and breath deeply if I can't (no amount of exposing myself to such places has cured these fears). And I'm going to lose people I love. I already have. And I will again. Yet I fear it.

I put these same fears into my characters. Sure I give them a real monster to fight- that's always fun. :) But those internal fears...now those are intense battles. I like to watch my characters conquer their fears. Sometimes it takes more than one try, but there is nothing more rewarding than beating a fear...even if it's only temporary.

Several of our members have posted some really awesome quotes. One of my faves is:

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that 
something else is more important than fear. 
~Ambrose Redmoon

I actually first heard that quote while watching The Princess Diaries :) But it's so true. I may fear a lot of things - but I can be courageous, no matter how bad my boots are shaking, when I need to be :)

The awesome Shaun is after me in the chain and check out Bonny's post before me!


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

'All fears are internal.' That's a great comment. We, or our characters, learn a lot by recognizing that. Enjoyed this post a lot.

Stephanie L. McGee said...

I didn't know that quote wasn't original to that movie. Sigh.

Great post.

Sherry Dale Rogers said...

What I fear most is dealing with emotion so my characters tend to take deep emotional journeys, plus I lean toward reading those books.

No ghost stories but its Halloween, I guess you should just stick with the candy.

Happy Blogging

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Yup, I agree, fear is internal. It's our own perception of something that lets it fall in that category. My characters usually deal with unresolved issues, death of a loved one, poor choice made years earlier, insecurities, etc. I love watching them grow, seeing what and whom instigates a growth spurt. Fun, fun, fun!

Anonymous said...

Hmm interesting post. It gets me thinking of my own WIP to see what fears lie within them.

I know, I have certain nightmares that still linger when something triggers them.

Kat Harris said...

Glad you could make it! And I'm glad you're feeling better.

You know what's funny? I still keep a night light on in my room too. I hate the dark. It's all because of the blue bedroom.

Tamika: said...

Great post. I will have to remember the quote it resignates with a scaredy cat like moi!

My characters fear more internal conflicts, unresolved issues.

Cole Gibsen said...

Fabulous post, Michelle! What a lovely quote. I am so writing that one down :)

christine said...

love that quote!

Wendy Love said...

I fear conflict. I don't like it in real life and I have trouble putting it into my stories, even though I know it is necessary.

Mandy said...

I SO get your spider fear. I'm afraid to kill the really big ones. It takes a lot for me to do it and then I usually scream as I deliver the killing blow! Talk about irrational...

Michelle McLean said...

LOL oh Mandy, I'm with you. And usually once I do strike that blow, I REALLY strike it. I mean, pulverize the poor spider till there is nothing left :) Of course, there have been the few that have gotten the better of me. I once stayed in my house all day because there was a huge one, and I mean HUGE, on my front porch. Big enough it covered my entire doorbell, not just the buzzer, I mean the whole metal plate behind it and everything.

Luckily a neighbor came to visit and she just calmly took her shoe off and whacked it :D *sigh* I really hate spiders :D

B.J. Anderson said...

Great post! And I totally agree that all fears are internal. And I hear you about those spiders. Totally irrational.