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.
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!