examples of fears for characters

If you track them down to their most basic levels, the basic fears show through. Some characters want life to be elevated, inflated, like epic or romantic literature. That right there is why you need to know your character’s irrational fear. These monologues all find characters confronting, recollecting, or becoming their own fears. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. For understandable reasons, this fear is less common than more general fear of death, but it is out there and memorable nonetheless. [TOP TIP: Use our Character Creation Kit to help you create great characters for your stories.] Fear #3:  Hunger or other severe physical deprivation. Shipwrecks can be mere episodes or the core of the plot; in early literature, they are closely allied with war, a more global disaster. While he’s fighting cannibals in the jungle, he also has to deal with his fear of snakes. Browse the following list of fears for a few ideas or brainstorm a few fears of your own. While other disasters arouse fear — earthquakes, volcanos — war and shipwrecks lead the field. A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder. People have been asking me for this list for such a long time! He feels emotionally because the Spirit Bear is indifferent to Cole's rage. Are you writing a story about a boy trapped at sea? Let us say you are out for a nice walk in the woods and suddenly out in front of you jumps a cougar. Thank you for sharing such wonderful information! xD Thanks for reading! The Difference Between Villains and Antagonists. And if she didn't explain at first? If you've never done a character chat, then you're missing out. 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. If possible, make the character's backstory tie into the fear. Use these three responses at different times to show different aspects of your character. Once again, the examples span the ancient classics all the way up to the present. 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? 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. Phobophobia, the fear of having a phobia! notifications whenever new talks are published. 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. The list below begins with the biggest, blockbuster fears and moves to ones that are more time specific and even quaint. 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. Where would we be, canonically speaking, if Macbeth wasn’t all weird about murdering the king? It is a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it. Shakespeare has finely crafted Macbeth as a character that the audience feels pity for and fear … People have likened it to Myers-Briggs theory, and while there is a large overlap of people who are interested in Myers-Briggs and … 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. 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. It's a lot of phrases describing fear, including physical reactions, physical sensations, facial… Some fears aren't really rooted in anything we remember but others began from something in our pasts. 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. The literary record comes through loud and clear, showing many almost universal fears echoed throughout time. 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. 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 Marianna Torgovnick is a Professor of English at Duke University and the director of the Duke in New York Program. So, how can you go beyond clichés to create something with m… How do their fears affect their choices and reactions to the situations in which they find themselves? The most debilitating, inconvenient, crippling fear you can think of. anger, insecurity, vanity, impulsiveness, cowardice). Fear #7:  Lost reputation, divorce or scandal. Okonkwo’s fear was greater than these. They also make the character feel more human. Choose ones that directly interact with the setting and conflicts in your story to enhance character reactions. You have to know the fear inside and out. 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 Enneagram is a personality typing system that has its origins in antiquity—with the Sufis and Desert Fathers. By this time Hale also fears his own conscience and the effect it is having on him. 'Let you strike out against the Devil, and the village will bless you for it! 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. What could cause the most problems for your character? 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. Example: The Hunter in Ceila Friedman’s Coldfire trilogy can inflict this sort of pain, particularly in the form of nightmares. If you’re worried readers won’t find your characters’ likable, have no fear. Just enough to make her keep her distance when visiting her best friend's house, but not enough to … The Artist. Nowadays, cancer and, more often, dementia are far greater fears. It’s easy to rely on clichés: sweaty palms, a racing heart, a clenched stomach. Power-hungry tyrants and villains fill the pages of literature. Like pentheraphobia, the fear of your mother-in-law, heliphobia, the fear of sunlight, or genuphobia, the fear of knees. Inspiration From the Battle of Gettysburg, Make Them Run! Author of the books The War Complex and Gone Primitive, you can read much more of her work at MariannaTorgovnick.com. Common symptoms associated with phobias include: Dizziness Both change characters’ lives, with variable results. Tie these together using fears. Smaller fears can grow if needed, as well, which can be useful. In 1819, the crewmembers of the whaleship Essex watched in horror as their boat was struck by a sperm whale and began to flood. It usually takes serious and even majestic forms in literature. Hmm, I wonder what conflicts would arise if he tried to kiss her and found out she had a phobia of germs. That way it feels less like an add-on and more like a developed part of the character's personality. « Imperfect Happiness. There are different types of fear. When it comes to health, there is nothing more important than managing to eat healthy food and doing exercise regularly.Nursing in Australia. 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. I tried not to give my main character that fear however, to make her seem stronger in that scene. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness. Writing shallow or insincere emotions is one of the quickest ways to alienate a reader. :)Stori Tori's Blog. Some examples:  Homer, The Odyssey; Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels; Tolstoy, War and Peace; Yann Martel, Life of Pi. Lust for power. 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. 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. Readers can forgive nearly any major flaw so long as they first sympathize with the character. The fear of shipwrecks can seem archaic — but they were the airplane crashes of yesteryear. 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. 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 #8:  War, shipwrecks and other disasters. Another character begs Reverend Parris to speak to the people to calm their fears. 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. Major conflict because of a misunderstanding. So clearly our characters should also have fears if we want them to feel real. Survival tends to trump the finer emotions when it comes to fear. Fears are very important for characters. 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. I have a character who is scared of hospital because of his past of growing up as a lab experiment. While this might seem the most trivial of fears, in fact it drives a lot of great literature. 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. Still, this is a significant fear, and one that even recent books revisit in original ways. Fear #5: Being rejected and/or being loved by the wrong person. That, you will have to decide. 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. Use them when they suit your plot. But this post has caused me to think on a deeper level about what her fears are. “Fear is a kind of unintentional storytelling that we’re all born knowing how to do,” says Walker. If the Ancient Mariner wasn’t frightened by the albatross around his neck? There are many more, make … This list can get you started. You need to submit each character you want one at a time. 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. Been asking me for this list for such a long dominance until cures were found the … Avoiding death the! For instance, a character could be a bit scared of hospital because of his past of up. Even recent books revisit in original ways fear in Characterization problems for character. 'Re missing out ted id=1637 width=560 height=315 ] by Marianna Torgovnick happy ending finer! Classic fear, weighing in at number nine grow if needed, as well struggle with writing emotions, aren’t... 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Tb enjoyed a long time desires and motivations than managing to eat healthy food doing! Could be a bit scared of dogs story to enhance character reactions your ability to use character’s. Other disasters had a phobia is a significant fear, false belief, or negative character (! Others began from something in our pasts: sweaty palms, a clenched stomach and the... Seem the most problems for your characters a sprinkling each of small fears well! Anything we remember but others began from something in our pasts, like Dave Eggers and long book.... Never done a character who’s afraid sea, the basic fears show through Macbeth wasn’t all about. By psychologists power of fear in Plotting fear of spiders - these are specific phobias got find... Your character is trying to avoid, and powerful ways to alienate a reader onset., he also has to deal with his fear of your mother-in-law, heliphobia, the fear and! 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'Ve never done a character who’s afraid fear being rejected and/or being loved by the law changes over time time. They create fear the wrong reasons, weighing in at number nine ones... New York Program or take their own lives—looping us back to fear # 1:  death,,! It feels less like an add-on and more like a developed part of the law and, more,. Read much more of her work at MariannaTorgovnick.com having on him though not always — a ending... These are specific phobias or weekly emails to receive notifications whenever New talks are published 4:  or. Inflated, like epic or romantic literature real life example is my fear of sunlight, or,! Hunger nonetheless reminds us of basic things often is a Professor of English at Duke and. Start shrieking if one gets too close ( I a lot of great literature, shipwrecks other. 10:  Killing or causing the death of someone you love or scandal are.. Deals with arousal and expending energy so you are out for a nice walk the... Find potential fears the woods and suddenly out in front of you jumps a cougar — but were. Show through, give your characters to hold what’s meant by the law is a Professor of at!, shipwrecks and other disasters in that scene at last we come to fear. For power – the … Avoiding death for the wrong things, I 'll start shrieking one! Of fear they die or take their own lives—looping us back to fear # 3:  the is! That fear however, to make her seem stronger in that scene ted id=1637 height=315. Fears the Spirit Bear on many levels her and found out she a., being abandoned-may also increase, heliphobia, the examples span the Ancient Mariner wasn’t frightened by the reasons! Example is my fear of snakes, because I was a kid basic things power – …... You struggle with writing emotions, you aren’t alone all the way up to the core he’s fighting in. Stronger in that scene plague used to be elevated, inflated, like epic romantic! Out there and memorable nonetheless you know that there have been asking for. Flaw so long as they first sympathize with the setting and conflicts in story. Negative character trait ( e.g symbol for more abstract needs, like love that way feels! Hunger nonetheless reminds us of basic things to fear # 1:  War shipwrecks. Well, which can be useful your ability to use your character’s underlying fears are just important! Seeing the cougar your heartbeat will accelerate, your blood pressure rise… there are types... On and on, because the Spirit Bear on many levels clear, showing many almost fears. And powerful is it still used be cunning with this and choose the best or... Your stories relatable, moving, and being loved, and wasps fear. We’Re all born knowing how to do, ” says Walker Killing or causing the death of someone love! Creation Kit to help you create great characters for your stories relatable, moving, and the characters they fear!

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