Monday, March 9, 2009

Character Creations - Fears

Fears and nightmares haunt everyone. Wikipedia defines fear as: "an emotional response to threats and danger. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of pain." They also acompany the article on fear with this photo:
I didn't believe this picture to be quite accurate, so I'm providing a better photo of what fear looks like:
When writing a complex character, along with backstory, you also should examine the character's fears.

Pat Bertram, author of "More Deaths Than One" and "A Spark of Heavenly Fire", says on her blog: "By exploiting your character’s greatest fear, you will be able to draw the most depth from your character because, of course, your hero must confront this fear or else you miss the point of your own story."

As an author it is up to you to determine the fears of your characters. Are they simple? Are they strange? Are they complex? Are they predicatble?

One can fear heights, death, spiders, disease, aliens, ghosts, pumpkins, monsters, unicorns, bees, vampires, papercuts, worms, being buried alive, falling, forks, or even just recieving a letter:
Dear Jennifer,

This CEASE AND DESIST ORDER is to inform you that your intimidating actions against MR. HUEY LEWIS have become intolerable. This letter is to demand that your harassment and intimidation CEASE AND DESIST immediately. Should you continue to pursue these activities in violation of this CEASE AND DESIST ORDER, we will not hesitate to pursue further legal action against you including, but not limited to, civil action and/or criminal complaints.
You are a continuous abuser of the public image of Mr. Huey Lewis. Mr. Lewis has never been a time traveler. He has never been to the future, nor does he claim so. Songs are a work of fiction. Mr. Lewis, himself, is not a fictitious character – he is a real man, with real feelings. He is not a spokesperson for any pharmaceutical company and is not a drug user, abuser or drug pusher.
Note that a copy of this letter and a record of its delivery will be stored. Note too that it is admissible as evidence in a court of law and will be used as such if need be in the future.

This CEASE AND DESIST ORDER demands that you immediately discontinue and do not at any point in the future under any circumstances do any of the following to Huey Lewis: speak to, contact, pursue, harass, attack, strike, bump into, brush up against, push, tap, grab, hold, threaten, telephone (via cellular or landline), instant message, page, fax, email, follow, stalk, shadow, disturb his peace, keep him under surveillance, slander, make up stories about him, gather information about and/or block his movements at home, work, social gatherings, religious functions and/or any other reasonable day-to-day activities.Should you willfully choose to continue your current course of action, I will not hesitate to file a complaint with the Police Department for your ongoing violations of criminal Laws.
We demand your immediate attention and compliance in this matter.

Sincerely,The Legal Force which represents Mr. Huey Lewis

To continue my book reading series:

I've finished a Man of the People by Chinua Achebe. It is a novel about the political struggles in Africa and the common man. This novel reminded me a lot of 1984, but the ending is more hopeful.

I also finished "The Book of Lost Things" by John Connolly. A fantasy novel about a boy who seeks out his dead mother in a land of dreams and nightmares. This book was a little predictable, and a little frustrating at times. But overall it was a good novel. I really enjoyed the ending.


I^3 said...

Because it was over?

Hahaha. Just kidding.

But really, that dude looks like he pooped his pants.

Amanda said...

Kittens are best equipped to strike fear into our hearts because no one expects it - wait, isn't that what they said about the Spanish Inquisition??

Regardless, I am disappointed by your lackluster review of what was obviously a masterful imitation of a key piece of literature in the twentieth century. I bet Mr. Achebe will be sending you a 'letter' soon too :P

I^3 said...

Hey, So I figured out a good book for you to read-
Pride and Prejudice
and Zombies.
I swear to god, it's a real book.
I read an excerpt, and it wasn't bad.

Andrew said...

I liked this blog post, but my kindergarten photo at the top is a bit unnecessary, expect more action from me in the coming future (via my machine)
-Luey Hewis.

and because someone didnt want to bother linking it to you