Your sympathetic nervous system deals with arousal and expending energy so you are ready to either fight or run. Use these three responses at different times to show different aspects of your character. It was not external but lay deep within himself. If you feel like a certain fear would make the plot better, then work a reason for the character to have it into the backstory. This list can get you started. In Holocaust literature, it portrays humanity strained to the core. Literature loves paradox and so, paradoxically, the second greatest fear is avoiding death for the wrong reasons: when death will inevitably follow a noble or moral act or out of cowardice, especially in war. Power-hungry tyrants and villains fill the pages of literature. Fear #8:  War, shipwrecks and other disasters. E) The Importance Of Fear In Plotting Sign up for our daily or weekly emails to receive Some examples:  Homer, The Odyssey; Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels; Tolstoy, War and Peace; Yann Martel, Life of Pi. Likewise, a character who was in a house fire as a child might experience unwanted memories whenever they catch a whiff of smoke. What's in a Name? notifications whenever new talks are published. These aren’t inherently bad – and I’m not saying you shouldn’t use them – but if clichéd expressions are the only way you frame a frightening scene, it likely won’t go far enough in terms of character development. For understandable reasons, this fear is less common than more general fear of death, but it is out there and memorable nonetheless. “Fear is a kind of unintentional storytelling that we’re all born knowing how to do,” says Walker. Or how about this one? For instance, a character could be a bit scared of dogs. Some examples:  The Bible; Aeschylus, The Oresteia; Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter; Dickens, Bleak House; Franz Kafka, The Trial; Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things. This post is a sequel to my posts " The Difference Between Villains and Antagonists " and " The Difference Between Heroes and... Have you ever noticed that, in a lot of children's and YA fantasy/adventure/action/sci-fi novels, the main character is an orphan? What could cause the most problems for your character? I have a character who is scared of hospital because of his past of growing up as a lab experiment. Just enough to make her keep her distance when visiting her best friend's house, but not enough to … If you've never done a character chat, then you're missing out. There are different types of fear. They also make the character feel more human. Tie these together using fears. In most cases, a characters’ major flaw will be a fear, false belief, or negative character trait (e.g. It usually takes serious and even majestic forms in literature. What about a girl falling in love with a guy for the first time? People have likened it to Myers-Briggs theory, and while there is a large overlap of people who are interested in Myers-Briggs and … Are you writing a story about a boy trapped at sea? Forced into small boats with little food or water, they had three options: they could head to the nearest land, the Marquesas Islands, believed to be populated by cannibals; they could make a run for Hawaii and pray to escape the massive storms of the season; or they could attempt to catch a current to take them 1,500 miles to the coast of South America and risk running out of supplies on the way. 'Let you strike out against the Devil, and the village will bless you for it! 188 Examples of Character Traits posted by John Spacey , April 25, 2020 Character traits are the mental and moral qualities of an individual including their personality. Upon seeing the cougar your heartbeat will accelerate, your blood pressure rise… Give him a fear of drowning or of fish. When you write, give your character internal and external challenges. Seriously, I'll start shrieking if one gets too close (I. Some examples:  Patroclus dying for Achilles in Homer’s The Iliad; Othello killing Desdemona in Shakespeare’s Othello; Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure (“Done because we are too menny”); D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love (Gerald choosing to die rather than kill Gudrun); Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Everyone has them. Some examples:  Giovanni Boccacio’s Decameron; Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year; Oscar Wilde, The Portrait of Dorian Gray; Albert Camus, La Peste (The Plague); Ian McEwan, Atonement; Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections. Â. Author of the books The War Complex and Gone Primitive, you can read much more of her work at MariannaTorgovnick.com. It is a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it. Pingback: Application of Fear – Multicultural Literature, Pingback: Mastering fear and anxiety - RICH YOUNG MINDS, Pingback: Mastering fear and anxiety - CRUSH YOUR FEARS - RYM kickstarter, Pingback: The Top 10 Classic Fears in Literature - The Puppet Show, Pingback: Fear = Thinking + Time | Ms. Paton, Pingback: The Top 10 Classic Fears in Literature | WhisperingDark, Pingback: The Top 10 Fears in Literature | WhisperingDark, Pingback: From Buffaloes to Taxicabs: A practical guide to overcome fear « The Tequila Effect, Pingback: What fear can teach us | Kelly Business Advisors, LLC, Pingback: Why Read Classics? Closely allied to the fear of death — but not identical to it — the fear of illness is another constant though, as we’d expect, the disease most feared changes over time. The bubonic plague used to be the leading contender; TB enjoyed a long dominance until cures were found. Thanks! Your character’s underlying fears are just as important as their desires and motivations. Does it come out more tense? What is a character chat? I list the fear of death three times since it occurs in many forms: fear of our own deaths, fear of family members or close friends dying, fear of children preceding parents, the death of an entire culture. The most debilitating, inconvenient, crippling fear you can think of. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness. Nowadays, cancer and, more often, dementia are far greater fears. Sometimes time specific, the fear of hunger nonetheless reminds us of basic things. Choose ones that directly interact with the setting and conflicts in your story to enhance character reactions. If you struggle with writing emotions, you aren’t alone. So, how can you go beyond clichés to create something with m… Phobophobia, the fear of having a phobia! Showing your characters working through personal struggles is the key to making your stories relatable, moving, and powerful. Deprived of that illusion, they die or take their own lives—looping us back to fear #1. You also, as mentioned somewhere above, have the option of kicking it up a notch more by turning the fear into a full-blown phobia. While they have great empathy for … Shipwrecks can be mere episodes or the core of the plot; in early literature, they are closely allied with war, a more global disaster. At 4, many children are afraid that if a grandparent or a pet dies, they'll die, too. Character development questions If you’re looking for a way to further develop your characters in order to create lifelike and realistic personalities, we have a way to help. Some examples: Sophocles, Antigone (to bury her dead brother, Antigone famously courts death); Shakespeare several times — Hamlet again (“There is a providence in the fall of a sparrow”) and Antony and Cleopatra (to avoid capture by Octavius); Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (“It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done”); Harry Potter in his pursuit of Voldemort. « Imperfect Happiness. Once again, the examples span the ancient classics all the way up to the present. Then choose a scene and rewrite it, giving a character a fear that ties into that scene. You have to empathize. Fear #4:  Killing or causing the death of someone you love. It's not enough to be aware of our characters fears, however. Others have given some great examples of those who have dealt with fear and anxiety, there are many more in the scriptures.I realize this wasn’t your question but here are a few comforting verses dealing with anxiety. Smaller fears can grow if needed, as well, which can be useful. That, you will have to decide. The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression has helped writers all over the globe, and it … What things would naturally cause fears in the backstory you've developed? Fear #5: Being rejected and/or being loved by the wrong person. Survival tends to trump the finer emotions when it comes to fear. Artists are individualistic, idealistic, and romantic. Inspiration From the Battle of Gettysburg, Make Them Run! Some examples: Sophocles, Oedipus Rex; Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina; D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover; Thomas Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities; Phillip Roth, The Human Stain. Before you could think about your response your autonomic sympathetic nervous system kicks in. Application of Fear – Multicultural Literature, Mastering fear and anxiety - RICH YOUNG MINDS, Mastering fear and anxiety - CRUSH YOUR FEARS - RYM kickstarter, The Top 10 Classic Fears in Literature - The Puppet Show, The Top 10 Classic Fears in Literature | WhisperingDark, The Top 10 Fears in Literature | WhisperingDark, From Buffaloes to Taxicabs: A practical guide to overcome fear « The Tequila Effect, What fear can teach us | Kelly Business Advisors, LLC. Fear #9:  The law and, more specifically, lawyers. That right there is why you need to know your character’s irrational fear. Freeze – choose when your character would realistically become paralysed with fear. If the Ancient Mariner wasn’t frightened by the albatross around his neck? Situations that are triggering mean the character’s perceptions have been altered, and the response is an immediate onset of fear and anxiety. So, what exactly happens when you’re afraid? Like pentheraphobia, the fear of your mother-in-law, heliphobia, the fear of sunlight, or genuphobia, the fear of knees. If you want to hear a few more ideas, check out this list of. This fear is illogical, yet it has dictated much of my day, and if I had an option that didn’t involve needles, I’d take it. Still, this is a significant fear, and one that even recent books revisit in original ways. Just enough to make her keep her distance when visiting her best friend's house, but not enough to send her screaming unless the dog leaps at her. In literature, characters fear being rejected, being loved, and being loved by the wrong person in almost equal proportions. That way it feels less like an add-on and more like a developed part of the character's personality. Writing shallow or insincere emotions is one of the quickest ways to alienate a reader. You must be cunning with this and choose the best (or, for them, worst) fears for your characters to hold. Fears and Phobias for Characters. The word phobia comes from the Greek, Phóbos, meaning ‘fear’ or ‘morbid fear’. I'm sure you could make a small (or large) list of things you're scared of. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. One of my characters has a fear of snakes, because I was afraid of them when I was a kid. In this way you shall make life as hard as possible for your dear charrie, and we all know that characters with hard lives are the ones that make good stories. Is fear a creative way to healthy outcomes? Probably the most famous example of a character with a crippling phobia is James Stewart's Scottie Ferguson in Vertigo, a former detective who suffers from acrophobia; that'd be … It’s a stock feature of numerous spy and crime dramas, where we tend to brush it off since the hero (think James Bond) or (more rarely) heroine’s beloved is almost always a goner. Above is an example of what a character arc looks like on paper and how you can utilize plot elements in order to further your character’s development. A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder. :)Stori Tori's Blog. Haha, torture the characters! [ted id=1637 width=560 height=315]By Marianna Torgovnick. However, not any old fear will do. anger, insecurity, vanity, impulsiveness, cowardice). The fear of shipwrecks can seem archaic — but they were the airplane crashes of yesteryear. It was deeper and more intimate than the fear of evil and capricious gods and of magic, the fear of the forest, and of the forces of nature, malevolent, red in tooth and claw. This list could go on and on, because the fear does. Major conflict because of a misunderstanding. Some characters want life to be elevated, inflated, like epic or romantic literature. In romantic novels or poems, it can be and often is a symbol for more abstract needs, like love. The Orphan Protagonist Cliche - Why Is It Still Used? Where would we be, canonically speaking, if Macbeth wasn’t all weird about murdering the king? A phobia is a strong, irrational fear about something that poses little or no threat. Define your character’s fears and insecurities. Some examples:  Woman loves step-son madly in three versions of the same story, none with a happy ending (Euripides, Hippolytus; Racine, Phaedra; Mary Renault, The Bull from the Sea); mixed up couples set right in Shakespeare’s As You Like It; love triumphs by the end in Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice; two different kinds of love lead to tragedy in Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles; mixed results in Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot. The problem with cartoonish, caricature-like villains is that … Now look over your whole story. Some examples: Dante, The Divine Comedy (Count Ugolino and his children); Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (“Water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink”); Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre; Elie Wiesel, Night; Susanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. Which scenes could use some more tension? He feels emotionally because the Spirit Bear is indifferent to Cole's rage. Use them when they suit your plot. Thank you for sharing such wonderful information! A real life example is my fear of yellow-jackets, bees, and wasps. It’s easy to rely on clichés: sweaty palms, a racing heart, a clenched stomach. Give villains explicit or implicit trauma. Fear #7:  Lost reputation, divorce or scandal. Hmm, I wonder what conflicts would arise if he tried to kiss her and found out she had a phobia of germs. Fear #2:  Avoiding death for the wrong reasons. You need to submit each character you want one at a time. In addition to the big, plot-changing fears, give your characters a sprinkling each of small fears as well. When it comes to health, there is nothing more important than managing to eat healthy food and doing exercise regularly.Nursing in Australia. Shakespeare has finely crafted Macbeth as a character that the audience feels pity for and fear … If you track them down to their most basic levels, the basic fears show through. While fear of God’s judgment remains plausible in literature, it is far less common today than fear of society’s laws — and specifically the rapacity of lawyers and the law’s ability, in Dickens’ words, “to make business for itself.” In some modern books, the law becomes a metaphor for the meaning of life. Example: The Hunter in Ceila Friedman’s Coldfire trilogy can inflict this sort of pain, particularly in the form of nightmares. “Our fears focus our attention on a question that is as important in life as it is in literature: what will happen next … How we choose to read our fears can have a profound affect on our lives.”. Numerous operas by Verdi, including Rigoletto and Un Ballo in Maschera use this theme, sometimes more than once; in fact, opera thrives on this fear, as in Bizet’s Carmen. It's a lot of phrases describing fear, including physical reactions, physical sensations, facial… It’s the story that inspired Moby Dick. Good post. Other characters favor codes of renunciation that have been called by literary critics “the Great Tradition,” fearing that they will gain something by immoral or amoral actions; a variation on this fear is the fear, as George Eliot’s Dorothea puts it, “I try not to have desires merely for myself.” Not at all light for avid readers, this fear usefully reminds us that life is not really like a Henry James novel. Boom. It is for the above reasons that Macbeth arose feelings of pity and fear in the audience, and therefore complies with the classical view of a tragedy. Whether it is a small fear, like being scared of bees, or a large fear, like dying, you're going to have at least one fear unless you've got a abnormal brain (topic for another time). Another character begs Reverend Parris to speak to the people to calm their fears. Fear of the law is a surprisingly classic fear, weighing in at number nine. Your ability to use your character’s fear is dependent on your understanding of that fear. The fears should range from anywhere as deep and integrated into the plot such as the fear of dying alone, to something as silly and simple as the fear of butterflies (which is a real fear by the way, linked to the fear of moths and called lepidopterophobia, but I digress). You have to know the fear inside and out. And if she didn't explain at first? By this time Hale also fears his own conscience and the effect it is having on him. But what’s meant by the law changes over time. One fairly simple (but often potent) form of suffering is to have a character who’s afraid. While he’s fighting cannibals in the jungle, he also has to deal with his fear of snakes. Desire for power – the … These monologues all find characters confronting, recollecting, or becoming their own fears. An almost universal fear, death recurs in literature more than any other fear, all the way from canonical works through fantasies like J.R.R. The Power of Fear in Characterization. Fear #1:  Death, death, death—did I mention death? If you’re worried readers won’t find your characters’ likable, have no fear. How do their fears affect their choices and reactions to the situations in which they find themselves? In 1819, the crewmembers of the whaleship Essex watched in horror as their boat was struck by a sperm whale and began to flood. There are some pretty strange ones, too. There are many more, make … Fictional characters and irrational fears go together like bread and butter, like Romeo and Juliet, like Dave Eggers and long book titles. , this is a symbol for more abstract needs, like Dave Eggers and long book.. It, giving a character who is scared of fears show through nowadays, and! - why is it still used Lost reputation, divorce or scandal more, the... 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