Everyone is scared of something; it’s what makes us human. Our characters should be no different – their fears show the readers that the characters are flawed humans, just like you and I.
I think that while it may be an initially simple thing to do – just choose a fear and your character is all good to go, a realistic character’s fears should be more in depth. Why do they fear what they do? Have they had a bad experience? Or is it just something about the fear that’s creepy?
My own character has a fear of spiders. She’s absolutely petrified of them, which is problematic for her, considering all the time she spends in musty old tombs, caves, and other spider breeding grounds.
Her fear stems from my own fear of spiders. Why am I scared of fears? This is why.
|Look at it. I had to find this picture. Who said being a writer was easy?|
According to Wikipedia, these bad boys live in tropical areas, including… well, a map shows they live pretty much everywhere where it isn’t cold. Wikipedia says that Huntsmen spiders can be “beneficial” because they feed on insects and most Australians release rather than kill. (Not me. If I face off with a Huntsman, the encounter ends with the Huntsman’s mouth filled with insect repellent or with a heavy object in its brain.)
Anyway, all characters need fears. They can directly relate to the plot (I don’t have an example), but they don’t have to. Take Indiana Jones’s fear of snakes. It doesn’t directly relate to the plots of any of the films, but he seems to encounter them often anyway.
That’s all I’ve got on fears today, so for the comments, what are you scared of? What about your characters, and why? Also, if you know of any spider-killing methods that don’t require me to be in the same room as the spider, let me know.