It’s Blog Chain time again.  Kat started this round with a great question in honor of Halloween: 


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?

I have to say I LOVE this question.  My whole life has really been about learning to cope with fear and making the conscious decision to move through fear as opposed to being paralyzed by it. 

As a result, my characters must face their fear as well. 

In the Chaos Within, the main character Julie literally faces an embodiment of every single thing she fears – and she does so in a world that automatically materializes everything she is thinking about.  So yeah – it is a fear-fest.  The challenge for her is learning to let go of that fear and recognize it for the illusion that it is.  Books 2 and 3 in the series are also about facing one’s fears, but in a less internalized way, as the main character battles paranormal beings that force her to repeatedly face her opinions of fear and decide whether or not fear is an illusion.

Lacrimosa is a good versus evil story.  Fear is not as central to the storyline as it is in the Chaos Trilogy, but the MCs certainly face their fear of loosing each other, loosing their love, and loosing everything that makes them better than the Evil in the story.  Ultimately they have to confront their own ideas of love, duty, redemption and forgiveness, as well deal with the choices they make – many of which are driven by fear.

I write Urban Fantasy and Paranormal stories.  And even in my short stories that are more of the Chick Lit variety, my characters always explore the fear that lives deep inside us all.  Sometimes that fear may take the form of a monster, the devil, or something external.  More often than not it is internal, as they face whatever it is the fear the most in order to survive whatever journey they find themselves on.

Now, the last part of the question – what do I fear?  I have done many posts on fear.  As I said earlier in this post, as well as in those, I have lived my life learning to walk through the things that scare me the most.  In that respect I am definitely the type to face things head on – regardless of how scary they are.  Some may call that brave.  And I guess it is.  But for me, I know no other way to do things.

That is not to say I am not afraid.  When my husband nearly died of a brain aneurysm I can guarantee you that I was afraid.  When I hospitalized my ten-month-old daughter for respiratory distress, I stayed up all night afraid.

And when I am by myself in the middle of the night, gripped with a fear so profound it coats my tongue, there is no doubt that I am afraid.  I just choose to not let that fear define me.  So I find my own strength – and I reach out to my friends and take a little of theirs – and I face the fear – whatever it is.

Perhaps this quote summarizes it best for me:

Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive — the risk to be alive and express what we really are. – Don Miguel Ruiz

Each day I strive to life an authentic life – to not, as Walden would have said, get to the end of my days and discover I had never really lived.  So I face my fears, and move through them in whatever way I can.

Now it’s your turn…what are you afraid of?  How does fear play into your storylines?

For more from us on this great topic, check out Kat’s post before me and Sarah’s post tomorrow.


18 thoughts on “Blog Chain: A Lesson in Fear!

  1. I have a lot of fears in my life, but my biggest ones have to do with my family. I fear for my husband’s safety on his not-so-safe job. I fear for my kid’s health all the time. Those fears can honestly make you sick if you dwell on them too long. I’ll go into this more in my post, but I have learned to move past those fears and enjoy things day by day. If I didn’t live in the moment, then I’d never let anyone out of the house!

  2. I’m terrified of something happening to me or to the people I love. But I’ve learned to appreciate every day. Living in fear is pointless, a waste.

    I think our characters are a afraid of lots of things. They fear the truth, they fear loss, they fear moving forward.

  3. Christine, this was a beautiful post. Very articulate and emotional. I too deal with fear in its many forms and sometimes it takes effort to shake off that feeling that seems illogical but is so strong and so real.

  4. I love this post. I am with you. I sort of run through my fears. I wouldn’t call it brave either. More like stubborn. There is one fear I have no desire to conquer, however. Snakes. I don’t want to get near them with a ten foot pole… I love the quote you have given. The alternative, a death without dying, is not an option for me. I love life! My favorite saying is actually a scripture. “For God hath not given me the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” I use it a lot to get me through the scary times and there have been plenty…

  5. Nice post. I won’t go into depth too much, since I will have to answer this question myself. But I admire your recognition of fear as something to be overcome. We all struggle with this, whether we realize it or not.

  6. I think it’s very natural to fear for our loved ones, especially when they’re sick. But we can’t let our fear hold them back either. It was hard at first letting my toddler go down the slides by himself because I was afraid he would get hurt, but I didn’t want to make him grow up timid either. So I let him do it but watch him carefully. Despite some minor spills, he’s OK.

  7. Thanks guys…and thank you Kat, for this great topic. What on earth am I going to come up with for the next round….Hmmmmm

  8. What a powerful post! 🙂 That Ruiz quote really got to me.

    I’m like you, I think. My biggest fear is that I will regret not trying something, not going for it, not truly living.

    My idea of success is doing the most that I can with my gifts, and not shying away from the opportunities given to me, whether they involve traveling someplace completely strange, bungee jumping, or trying my hardest to become an author. I can’t let fear rule me, and regret overtake me.

    Wonderful take on a wonderful subject!

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