In addition to the big, plot-changing fears, give your characters a sprinkling each of small fears as well. Fear #5: Being rejected and/or being loved by the wrong person. Tie these together using fears. Use them when they suit your plot. I'm sure you could make a small (or large) list of things you're scared of. Fears are very important for characters. Browse the following list of fears for a few ideas or brainstorm a few fears of your own. Less than half of the crewmembers survived. Haha, torture the characters! You have to know the fear inside and out. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. 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. 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. 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. While he’s fighting cannibals in the jungle, he also has to deal with his fear of snakes. What things would naturally cause fears in the backstory you've developed? For instance, a character could be a bit scared of dogs. You have to empathize. 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. Does it come out more tense? Fear of heights, fear of driving, fear of spiders - these are specific phobias. 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). Deprived of that illusion, they die or take their own lives—looping us back to fear #1. Avoiding death for the wrong reasons. So, how can you go beyond clichés to create something with m… 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. So what do people fear most? It was not external but lay deep within himself. It is a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it. It’s the story that inspired Moby Dick. The Power of Fear in Things Fall Apart In the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the theme of the power of fear is presented throughout the whole book and is mainly expressed in the main character, Okonkwo. He fears physically from the Spirit Bear's power. 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. Major conflict because of a misunderstanding. The Enneagram is a personality typing system that has its origins in antiquity—with the Sufis and Desert Fathers. Use these three responses at different times to show different aspects of your character. There are different types of fear. 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. Is fear a creative way to healthy outcomes? 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. For understandable reasons, this fear is less common than more general fear of death, but it is out there and memorable nonetheless. E) The Importance Of Fear In Plotting 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. 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. It’s easy to rely on clichés: sweaty palms, a racing heart, a clenched stomach. I tried not to give my main character that fear however, to make her seem stronger in that scene. There are many more, make … Fear affects the plot. Then choose a scene and rewrite it, giving a character a fear that ties into that scene. This list could go on and on, because the fear does. He feels emotionally because the Spirit Bear is indifferent to Cole's rage. Give him a fear of drowning or of fish. In romantic novels or poems, it can be and often is a symbol for more abstract needs, like love. 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. This actually escalated to PTSD. The fear of shipwrecks can seem archaic — but they were the airplane crashes of yesteryear. 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. In most cases, a characters’ major flaw will be a fear, false belief, or negative character trait (e.g. Shipwrecks can be mere episodes or the core of the plot; in early literature, they are closely allied with war, a more global disaster. Some examples: Shakespeare’s Sonnets (“Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore”; Hamlet  (“To be or not to be”); John Keats (“When I have fears”); Virginia Woolf, The Waves; Pat Barker, The Ghost Road. “Fear is a kind of unintentional storytelling that we’re all born knowing how to do,” says Walker. Your character’s underlying fears are just as important as their desires and motivations. While other disasters arouse fear — earthquakes, volcanos — war and shipwrecks lead the field. #15: Fear. This list can get you started. Freeze – choose when your character would realistically become paralysed with fear. Inspiration From the Battle of Gettysburg, Make Them Run! Artists are individualistic, idealistic, and romantic. 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. Author of the books The War Complex and Gone Primitive, you can read much more of her work at MariannaTorgovnick.com. People have likened it to Myers-Briggs theory, and while there is a large overlap of people who are interested in Myers-Briggs and … Tweet It! 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. Everyone has them. Okonkwo’s fear was greater than these. 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. :)Stori Tori's Blog. 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. After two months at sea, the men ran out of food. Or how about this one? But this post has caused me to think on a deeper level about what her fears are. One fairly simple (but often potent) form of suffering is to have a character who’s afraid. Fear #9:  The law and, more specifically, lawyers. Literature loves paradox and so, paradoxically, the second … 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. Fear #4:  Killing or causing the death of someone you love. Fear #3:  Hunger or other severe physical deprivation. If possible, make the character's backstory tie into the fear. Whether by murder, negligence or a set of circumstances beyond our control, the fear of causing the death of someone we love is a big one. This is an excellent example of one of the only characters in the play whose fear is concerned with other people and not just himself as Mr Hale even resigns his job in a bid for justice. 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. Some characters want life to be elevated, inflated, like epic or romantic literature. Before you could think about your response your autonomic sympathetic nervous system kicks in. A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder. If you write horror, suspense, mystery, or any kind of fiction with a scary scenes, you need to know how to describe fear. 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. While this might seem the most trivial of fears, in fact it drives a lot of great literature. [ted id=1637 width=560 height=315]By Marianna Torgovnick. Boom. What about a girl falling in love with a guy for the first time? Example: The Hunter in Ceila Friedman’s Coldfire trilogy can inflict this sort of pain, particularly in the form of nightmares. Types of Fear - A List of Choices (This list does not include the hundreds of phobias) abandonment being bad, corrupt, evil, defective being controlled by others being deprived being harmed being incapable being of no value, worthless being unloved being useless change conflict death defeat diminishment, decline disease If the Ancient Mariner wasn’t frightened by the albatross around his neck? Phobophobia, the fear of having a phobia! These monologues all find characters confronting, recollecting, or becoming their own fears. Often, fueled by programs seen on television, children's fantasy fears, such as ghosts, dragons, and supernatural characters, find their way into the preschooler's play and dreams. Good fears to choose are ones that enhance tension in the book. 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. Fear #8:  War, shipwrecks and other disasters. Give villains explicit or implicit trauma. How do their fears affect their choices and reactions to the situations in which they find themselves? notifications whenever new talks are published. Thank you for sharing such wonderful information! People have been asking me for this list for such a long time! Just enough to make her keep her distance when visiting her best friend's house, but not enough to … So clearly our characters should also have fears if we want them to feel real. However, not any old fear will do. Fictional characters and irrational fears go together like bread and butter, like Romeo and Juliet, like Dave Eggers and long book titles. If you track them down to their most basic levels, the basic fears show through. Situations that are triggering mean the character’s perceptions have been altered, and the response is an immediate onset of fear and anxiety. Showing your characters working through personal struggles is the key to making your stories relatable, moving, and powerful. 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. 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 … Hmm, I wonder what conflicts would arise if he tried to kiss her and found out she had a phobia of germs. They also make the character feel more human. The bubonic plague used to be the leading contender; TB enjoyed a long dominance until cures were found. At 4, many children are afraid that if a grandparent or a pet dies, they'll die, too. 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. Likewise, a character who was in a house fire as a child might experience unwanted memories whenever they catch a whiff of smoke. Lust for power. In addition to the big, plot-changing fears, give your characters a sprinkling each of small fears as well. 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. The most debilitating, inconvenient, crippling fear you can think of. What's in a Name? 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. At last we come to a fear that can have a lighter side and, sometimes — though not always — a happy ending. Where would we be, canonically speaking, if Macbeth wasn’t all weird about murdering the king? 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). So, what exactly happens when you’re afraid? 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. Your sympathetic nervous system deals with arousal and expending energy so you are ready to either fight or run. In literature, characters fear being rejected, being loved, and being loved by the wrong person in almost equal proportions. 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? 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. That, you will have to decide. The Artist. Fear of the law is a surprisingly classic fear, weighing in at number nine. You must be cunning with this and choose the best (or, for them, worst) fears for your characters to hold. Some examples:  Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote; Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary; George Eliot, Middlemarch; Henry James, The Ambassadors; Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending. If you want to hear a few more ideas, check out this list of. It's not enough to be aware of our characters fears, however. That fear can change your character’s entire direction. Power-hungry tyrants and villains fill the pages of literature. Think about what your character is trying to avoid, and why. Writing shallow or insincere emotions is one of the quickest ways to alienate a reader. 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. Thanks! An Introduction To Writing About Characters With Phobias What is a phobia? It usually takes serious and even majestic forms in literature. The literary record comes through loud and clear, showing many almost universal fears echoed throughout time. Do writers and the characters they create fear the wrong things? Another character begs Reverend Parris to speak to the people to calm their fears. 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? If he's scared of fish then he's going to have to overcome that fear at least in part to stay alive. The Orphan Protagonist Cliche - Why Is It Still Used? Cole, for example, fears the spirit bear on many levels. You need to submit each character you want one at a time. Fear #1:  Death, death, death—did I mention death? There is at least one stunning example in this category of embracing the fear being absolutely the right thing to do: Flaubert’s St Julien, L’Hospitalier, in which the saint embraces a leper and achieves transcendence. Fear #7:  Lost reputation, divorce or scandal. Did you know that there have been as many as 500 phobias categorized by psychologists? But what’s meant by the law changes over time. Both change characters’ lives, with variable results. 10 Things to Consider When Namin... Found at https://www.pinterest.com/pin/559009372468708955/. For instance, a character could be a bit scared of dogs. Good post. That right there is why you need to know your character’s irrational fear. I have a character who is scared of hospital because of his past of growing up as a lab experiment. When it comes to health, there is nothing more important than managing to eat healthy food and doing exercise regularly.Nursing in Australia. Your ability to use your character’s fear is dependent on your understanding of that fear. The word phobia comes from the Greek, Phóbos, meaning ‘fear’ or ‘morbid fear’. The list below begins with the biggest, blockbuster fears and moves to ones that are more time specific and even quaint. People used to fear this one more than they do today, when our motto seems to be that no publicity is really bad publicity and unseemly revelations are the order of the day. The problem with cartoonish, caricature-like villains is that … Fear #2:  Avoiding death for the wrong reasons. Fear #10:  That real life won’t resemble literature. Fear of intangible things-for example, being abandoned-may also increase. Define your character’s fears and insecurities. There are some pretty strange ones, too. The witches are definitely a source of fear for the audience. “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.”. It’s not just what a character fears, but how they handle it, why they fear it, how they see it in themselves and others, and what it reveals about them as a character overall. In Holocaust literature, it portrays humanity strained to the core. When you write, give your character internal and external challenges. As author Karen Thompson Walker shares in today’s talk, given at TEDGlobal 2012, the crew took option three because of the vivid, terrifying images that options one and two brought to life in their minds. What is a character chat? Seriously, I'll start shrieking if one gets too close (I. anger, insecurity, vanity, impulsiveness, cowardice). Are you writing a story about a boy trapped at sea? Blurring the Lines: What Are Anti-Heroes and Anti-Villains? Which scenes could use some more tension? Marianna Torgovnick is a Professor of English at Duke University and the director of the Duke in New York Program. Some fears aren't really rooted in anything we remember but others began from something in our pasts. And if she didn't explain at first? One of my characters has a fear of snakes, because I was afraid of them when I was a kid. The Power of Fear in Characterization. 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. What could cause the most problems for your character? Readers can forgive nearly any major flaw so long as they first sympathize with the character. While they have great empathy for … A real life example is my fear of yellow-jackets, bees, and wasps. Now look over your whole story. Fears and Phobias for Characters. 'Let you strike out against the Devil, and the village will bless you for it! A phobia is a strong, irrational fear about something that poses little or no threat. It's a lot of phrases describing fear, including physical reactions, physical sensations, facial… Upon seeing the cougar your heartbeat will accelerate, your blood pressure rise… Common symptoms associated with phobias include: Dizziness Sign up for our daily or weekly emails to receive xD Thanks for reading! Some examples:  Homer, The Odyssey; Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels; Tolstoy, War and Peace; Yann Martel, Life of Pi. 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