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?