PROJECT Fears

Discussion in 'DEVELOPING CHARACTERS & CULTURES' started by Diana, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. FEAR is an integral part of character development. Every person has at least one fear, and even if you lack fears, that can mean something very important. Fears can come in to play in a huge variety of ways. Be it why a character avoids doing a certain thing, why a character works so hard at something, or even just an element you can use for plot value during the story.

    In this exercise, you're going to detail out all of the things your character fears or has feared in their lifetime.

    Here are some things to ponder:
    • What were they afraid of as a little kid? Do they still fear those things now or have they grown out of them?
    • What are the things they are afraid of right now? Do they have a reason for those fears?
    • A common fear is "losing the one they love", but WHY is that a fear that is so important to them? Have they lost someone before? Do they avoid connections because they fear the potential loss?
    • A common fear is "death", same question as above. What would make them fear death?
    • Other common fears: Spiders, snakes, darkness, thunder... There is nothing wrong with having the same old common fears, but it's good to back them up with actual reasons. Did they get traumatized by loud noises and now hate thunder? Were they bitten by a dog and now don't like them?
    • What is the level of SEVERITY with their fears? When faced with it, can they shake it off and ignore it? Do they have a panic attack? Scream? Run away?
    • If your character isn't afraid of anything, WHY? What has caused them to be fearless? What would happen if you faced them with some common, truly scary things, like death and danger? How do they react to those moments? Do they only THINK they are fearless, or have they just not found a moment that has actually scared them?

    If you can think of other things to list or question about - do so!
     
  2. My character Jasmine is a normal teenage girl. She has the normal mild fears, like disliking spiders and avoiding doctors offices, except for one. She is absolutely terrified of the dark. She's had this fear ever since she was a small child. You see, she was about six years old when her older sister, Amanda, took her to a haunted house. It was a cruel thing to do, really. She knew that Jasmine wasn't good with frightening things. Amanda took Jasmine into the haunted house, and in the first room managed to 'loose' her there. Jasmine had wandered through the dark old building alone for hours before someone realized that she had been abandoned there. By that time, Amanda had already left. That, coupled with the actors their doing there job and scaring her, gave her nightmares for years. Even now, the lingering fear of the dark persists; especially if she is alone. It's a crippling fear, and she avoids triggering it as often as she can. When it is triggered she begins to hyperventilate, and will automatically try to hide somewhere. If someone, even someone she knows, tries to approach her she will run, and if she gets cornered she will fight. If asked, she'll try to make a joke of it and say "I'm not afraid of the dark, I'm only afraid of what's hiding there." But her fear is very real.
     
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    • What were they afraid of as a little kid? Do they still fear those things now or have they grown out of them?
    When Slade was a child he used to be afraid of the dark. He would always have a candle lit somewhere, or the curtains from the orphanage windows open so the light from the moon that reflected from the sun. He is twenty six now and carries that fear around still (though tries to look stronger)
    • What are the things they are afraid of right now? Do they have a reason for those fears?
    He still fears the dark. His fear of the dark is from his mother being slaughtered by pirates in the middle of the night. He couldn't see anything, but he could hear her. His father was the captain of the queen's guard and was doing something the night it happened. Ever since that night he has been scared of the dark.
    • A common fear is "losing the one they love", but WHY is that a fear that is so important to them? Have they lost someone before? Do they avoid connections because they fear the potential loss?
    He doesn't really fear losing his loved ones; he's sort of come to terms that everybody dies sooner or later. Preventing them from dying could be a mistake; he wished that the pirates had killed him as well, because he can hear his mother everyday and night. He'd rather be dead without memory than alive with one. He doesn't avoid connections, in fact he is a very happy-go-lucky kind of guy; he alays makes it a habit to smile and laugh.
    • A common fear is "death", same question as above. What would make them fear death?
    What would make him fear death? He doesn't see life the same way as others. He holds no fear of death, he's faced it many times. But he wouldn't be scared to die simply because everybody does. Why should you think that death is necessarily a bad thing? You are passing on from one life, what makes you think the adventure is over? You never tried it before, never seen it; so how would he know what to expect? Expecting the unexpected in his opinion isn't fun at all.
    • Other common fears: Spiders, snakes, darkness, thunder... There is nothing wrong with having the same old common fears, but it's good to back them up with actual reasons. Did they get traumatized by loud noises and now hate thunder? Were they bitten by a dog and now don't like them?
    He doesn't like heights because when he was trying to escape his house, and run from the pirates, he injured himself from the fall from the window. After that he decided that heights were not his friend. I already explained the dark; that is like a pathological (means extreme) fear of his.
    • What is the level of SEVERITY with their fears? When faced with it, can they shake it off and ignore it? Do they have a panic attack? Scream? Run away?
    His fear of the dark is evident. In his cabin, there is never a dark room. when put into total darkness, he has what is known as PTSD episodes. Crying, doesn't recognize friends, the need to get away. He'll fight anyone to get to the door no matter who they are. He panics, and hides in places that you'd not believe was humanly possible.
    • If your character isn't afraid of anything, WHY? What has caused them to be fearless? What would happen if you faced them with some common, truly scary things, like death and danger? How do they react to those moments? Do they only THINK they are fearless, or have they just not found a moment that has actually scared them?
    As far as death goes, as mentioned before, he has faced it before. The thought of dying does not scare him no more than water scares a fish. He is afraid of the dark because of the memories, but he is not afraid to die in the dark.
     
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