What are the primary fears that drive your characters? Do they battle aliens of gangsters or monsters? Or do they battle unreconciled issues in their lives? Which do you prefer writing about? What do you fear?
This is a really fantastic topic and my fellow blog chainers have given some spectacular answers. Hopefully I have something new to add. I'm going to start with my own personal fears. Clowns. Despise them. I think it stems from watching IT. If I even think of that movie, showering becomes a nightmare. I'm also not a big fan of fire or falling. But I'm less afraid of those things than I am afraid of their consequences. For instance, I'm not afraid of fire per se, I'm afraid of being burned. And I'm not afraid of heights, I'm afraid of falling from a great height. But my biggest fear is being too afraid. And that's what personally drives me. My fear of being burned didn't stop me from trying to get through the academy to be a fireman. Or climbing up ladders or anything at all. I use my fear as a propellent for the rest of my life. When I'm most afraid, like when I sent out my manuscript for The Deathday Letter, is when I know my life is about to change.
As for my characters...well my writing is influenced in a huge way by Joss Whedon. Sure, he doesn't write novels (unless you count comic books) but he uses his characters' outer worlds to expose the conflict and fear of their inner. He's a bit of a genius at this. My concept with The Deathday Letter was to have this fictional object--the letter--expose my character's greatest fear: that he'd die without accomplishing anything.
I guess I don't have one specific thing, but I do like the outer world to be an amplified reflection of the inner. In a MG novel I'm writing for NaNo, my main character fears being invisible, fears that everyone hates him and no one wants him around. Then children from the future come and actually attempt to erase him from time. His biggest fear made larger than life. Tying back to that, one of my favorite Whedon episodes was about a girl in high school who became invisible because she thought no one noticed her. Great stuff.